I first came across Pepper Lunch when I was on holiday in Singapore. They had one of these stores in a basement food court below a shopping mall. Pretty much what attracted me was the word pepper as I love pepper on nearly everything. Pepper Lunch is originally a Japanese “fast food like” restaurant chain, that is pretty common in South East Asia. Fast Japanese food that comes on a sizzling hot plate? What else could you ask for!
I saw something on the menu that seemed kinda interesting, Japanese Curry with Rice and Hamburger. Obviously, I had to order it and it came out pretty fast as expected. The curry bubbles away as it arrives on my table and looked delicious.
The curry comes with the standard potatoes and carrots, but on top of the rice we have steamed carrots, beans, corn and boiled egg. I quite liked the flavour of the curry, a tad spicy which isn’t something I ordinarily get with a Japanese curry but the hamburger that it comes doesn’t seem to mix all that well with the curry flavour. The hamburger patty is quite nice if it was on a burger bun but here it is from two different worlds. I think diced beef would have worked quite well here.
Pepper Lunch also have a small selection of rice dishes in bowls. We ordered the Salmon Teriyaki with rice. It’s a smaller serve compared with the hot plates but nonetheless tasty. The teriyaki flavour is sweet and different to the teriyaki flavours in other Japanese restaurants , it isn’t something I’ve had many times before but the interesting flavour is quite nice. The salmon is cooked well, not overcooked in the least. A bit of chilli oil on top just makes this dish better.
The Chicken Teriyaki is quite similar to the Salmon dish , with not much else to comment on. The chicken was cooked well and I quite liked the taste of it actually. I find it different to Hanaichi’s Teriyaki dishes but both are great in their own ways.
I wouldn’t say the food here is the most authentic Japanese food I’ve eaten but it’s delicious, great flavours and fast. Can’t go wrong with that in my book.
309-311 Elizabeth St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Killiney Kopitiam is a Singaporean franchise that has opened up on Lygon St, Carlton. Near to the famous Gelato/Ice-creamery, Il Dolce Freddo. As a Kopitiam, they serve a selection of hot and cold beverages such as coffee, tea, Tek Tarik and Milo and also a nice and decently priced selection of Hawker style dishes, and Traditional Singaporean/Malaysian dishes.
Their Mee Rebus was slightly spicy and had a nice tangy flavour to it, like it should be. However, the sauce was overly running and that was a bit strange to be honest. Killiney Kopitiam’s dishes are probably smaller than most other Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants around Melbourne but because most of their dishes are under $9, it probably is still good value for money.
I also tried their Singaporean Laksa and that was surprisingly good. The Laksa soup was nice and creamy, with a good amount of spice and coconut flavour. The fresh bean sprouts, chicken, tofu, boiled egg and chopped coriander all worked well together. The bean sprouts and coriander especially made it taste very fresh, which was even more surprisingly because I don’t usually like it with anything.
To go to a Kopitiam and not order Teh Tarik would be unacceptable for me. Their Teh Tarik was actually pretty darn good, it didn’t have as much tea flavour as Chillipadi Kopitiam but way above some of the other offerings I’ve had around Melbourne.
Overall, my impressions of Killiney Kopitiam are mostly positive. Their food came pretty quickly, and staff were friendly enough. The restaurant also had a nice atmosphere to it, probably because it looked clean for an Asian restaurant. Ha!
I definitely recommend this place for those students around Carlton, or even if you want something different on Lygon St. Even if you’re not around the area, as one of the few Singaporean eateries around Melbourne it probably is worthwhile to visit. You can have a look at the menu here!
114 Lygon Street
Carlton VIC 3053